The project



Cognitive neuroscience is a stimulating field of research, that capitalizes on the experiences coming from different disciplines such as cognitive psychology, psychobiology and neurobiology, all involved in the study of the neural correlate of cognitive functions.
The research of the effect of brain damages on behaviour has provided, in the last decades, fundamental information about the functioning of the cognitive system and has contributed to the clarification of some mechanisms of the human mind. Moreover, the inferences that the study of brain pathology allows us to draw, have determined important advances in the rehabilitation treatment of brain-damaged patients, improving the negative impact that the disease has on everyday life.
We propose a science multimedia project promoted by the Psychology Department of Turin University (Italy), in collaboration with Professor Piergiorgio Strata, President of the National Neuroscience Institut, Professor Marc Jeannerod, member of the Institut des Sciences Cognitives of Lion (France) and Professor Mitch Glickstein of the London University College (UK).
This project of science communication has the aim to introduce cognitive neuroscience to general public by presenting how scientists approach the problem of investigating brain/mind processes.

This project intends to explore some aspects of cognitive functions in humans by analyzing different brain pathologies selected because of the peculiar and fascinating consequences they have on human behaviour.

The project would address the following questions:
- How consciousness-related disorders consequent upon a brain damage influence the patient’s behaviour and the thoughts process?
- What inference can we draw from the pathological behaviour for constructing model of normal functions?
- How patient’s everyday life is affected?
- Can we use patients’ personal report to get any clue into their phenomenological experience and how their abnormal or modified phenomenological experience affects the way they perceive reality?

We will realise an art and science exhibition to help the public to understand how brain works through images and videos specifically designed and issued from the experiments on patients.
The exhibition will present structural and functional images of the brain (CAT, fMRI, PET, TMS), that will show both normal and pathological conditions. The artist will highlight the difference between normality and pathology, reinterpreting the patients’ abnormal conditions. They will also create interactive installations that will give the possibility to general public to ‘experience’ some sensorial and perceptive situations that influence patients’ everyday life.
Each installation should act as an immediate tool for communicating unfamiliar issues and is aimed to strongly impress the public.
The voice of a scientist together with written explanations of the pathologies will contribute to completing the exhibition itinerary in a simple and catchy way.

The contents will be supervised by the Psychology Department & Neuropsychology Research Group, University of Turin (referent Prof. Anna Berti) that will select the materials in collaboration with international institutions and the artistic contribution of Accademia Albertina delle Belle Arti.

We intend to realise a multimedia exhibition’s format which is a consolidated vehicle to help the public to understand difficult subjects. Artistic approach towards scientific issues represents a successful way to science popularization.

The objective of this project is to give a chance to general public to approach and explore the consequences of brain pathologies and to learn about counterintuitive aspects of human behaviour. At the same time the work on the brain images will valorise the artistic aspects of science providing a spectacular and impressive viewpoint of the scientific images of the brain.
We will explore brain functions and the following pathologies:

  • Neglect
  • Anosognosia
  • Prosopoagnosognosia
  • Split brain

PROMOTER

Anna Berti, M.D., PhD.
Institution: Turin University
Academic Position: Full Professor
Research field: Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuropsychology.
Current Research and Interests:
Integrated multisensory space representation in patients with neglect. Modulation of space representation by tool use induced action. Unawareness of neurological impairment in brain damaged patients. Motor awareness and motor intention in ansognosic patients.


SCIENTIFIC COMMITEE

Giovanni Berlucchi
Institution: University of Verona,ITA
Academic Position: Full Professor
Related experience:
Area of research: Phenomenology and mechanisms of visuo-spatial attention Cortical bases of perception and memory Hemispheric interaction and communication.
Professor Giovannni Berlucchi will supervise the project ensuring the accuracy of the contents.

Piergiorgio Strata
Institution: National Institut of Neuroscience, Rita Levi Montalcini
Center for brain repair,ITA
Related experience:
As Executive Committee of European Dana Alliance for Brain and President of the Italian Neuroscience Institute, professor Strata is an expert in Neuroscience issus popularization, as confirmed by his designation as Coordinator of a Neuroscience National Committee nominated my the Minister of the University on April 2000, to elaborate a program for Neuroscience in Italy.
Professor Strata will supervise the project ensuring the accuracy of the contents.

Gabriella Bottini
Institution: University of Pavia,ITA
Academic Position: Full Professor
Related experience: Honorary Senior Lecturer, Institute of Neurology, London, U.K., professor Bottini heads the Laboratory of Neuropsichology of the Neurological Sciences Department, Niguarda Cà Granda Hospital, Milan, Italy.
Tomography and functional Magnetic Resonance expert, Professor Botttini will chose and supervise the images inputs for the artist's works.

Marc Jeannerod
Institution: Institut des Sciences Cognitives,FRA
Academic Position: Full Professor
Related experience:
Member of Institut de France Académie de sciences, professor Marc Jeannerod was among the first to investigate scientifically the relation between skilled action and conscious experience. The combination of scientific knowledge and a willingness to tackle major intellectual questions in a clear and practical way is very characteristic of the his work throughout his distinguished career.

Mitch Glickstein
Institution: Department of Anatomy, University College London,GBR
Academic Position: Full Professor
Professor Mitch Glickstein’s interest is in the history of neuroscience, particularly in the experimental and clinical studies of the nineteenth century.


PARTNERS

- European Dana Alliance for brain initiatives
- National Neuroscience Institut
- Institut des Sciences Cognitives (France)
- London University College (UK)